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G-A-Y Porn Idol with Carmen Carrera this Thursday 6 April

She was the fiercest drag queen on RuPaul’s Drag Race but by the time it went big, she was a girl. Meet Carmen, model, activist and sometimes… stripper. Which makes her perfect for a judging role at G-A-Y Porn Idol!

Hello, beautiful lady.

Oh, I love your accent! It’s gawgous. That’s my New Jersey accent.

You looking forward to coming to see us?

I love London. And I’m so sorry to hear what just happened out there.

That’s sweet. You know what you’re coming to do, don’t you?

I’m hosting G-A-Y Porn Idol, which sounds interesting, but I’m a naked body person, I love the human body in all its forms. I’m looking forward to seeing what London has to offer.

What are you looking for in a naked body?

First I look for aesthetically pleasing but more than anything what’s important is what’s going through a person’s mind. Before I started transitioning and when I started doing my striptease show it was all in my head, about what I was presenting, what I was feeling, the energy.

Are you the only trans stripper?

Oh no, there are tons of us. Lots of girls work in heterosexual strip clubs. I used to go to the LGBT community in New York trying to understand who I am and where I fit in. And I met girls from all walks of life: strippers, lawyers, doctors and that inspired my transition.

How does your husband feel about you stripping?

Oh, I don’t strip anymore.

Oh, she’s a lady now!

I do a show once in a blue moon because I just love to do that but it goes hand-in-hand with my activism. I performed in Columbia and Brazil during the time I was bringing their trans issue to public attention. But I do lots of stuff, I’m doing a movie but I’m not allowed to talk about it.

Top secret squirrel!

But I’m focussing on this documentary I’m doing for HBO on the trans community in Brazil because Brazil is the number one place to live if you’re trans. And I’m interested in the Latin community because that’s where I’m from. It’s called Outpost. You can get it on demand.

Back in the RuPaul’s Drag Race days, you were a boy and then you transitioned?

I was thinking about transitioning up until I thought of going on the show. I was always thinking about it, even as a kid, praying to God that I would wake up as a female, but since that never happened I would go on stage and perform. And round about the time I got the call from RuPaul, I was just about to transition so I thought, ‘If I go on Drag Race and celebrate all the hard work I put into my drag character, I can transition afterwards, and I’ll always have that time capsule of when I was young and crazy…’

You’re still young and crazy!

Yeah, I know, but I’m a little smarter now because times have changed and I care about things that I didn’t back then. By the time we went on tour, I was already transitioning. I was growing out my hair, growing my breasts, going through puberty again and that’s the moment the world started to take notice of me. So unexpected!

How do trans women and drag queens get on?

I’ll tell you the truth. Me working at one of New York’s most prestigious show bars, there was always a good mix of trans and drag performers in the show. There was always a category for the trans performer who gave the best female illusion for the show. And I became that person, before my transition. We always got along. Once Drag Race came along, the trans thing kind of got erased and there are many reasons for that. People out there don’t really understand transgender. There’s a lot of judgement.

That’s why your video about how to understand trans women was so good.

Yeah. I feel that trans women need to be women first. The drag thing confuses it and I was a bit sad that there was no trans representation in Drag Race because I think it’s short changing us. But we’re fighting to be seen as women and I know that transgender drag performers still exist to this day whether RuPaul chooses to put them on stage or not. We’re never going to stop striving. The difference is gay men who dress as drag queens still get male privilege; we have to fight for our basic human rights. I hope in the future RuPaul will embrace the trans community as drag performers because we’ve always been around.

Are you on bad terms with RuPaul now?

I haven’t spoken to RuPaul since I filmed season three of Drag Race so I don’t really know where I stand with RuPaul. RuPaul is entitled to have her show the way she wants and I don’t have any bad blood with anyone: she’s a genius and has her way of doing business, but if we ever cross paths I would say hello. I hope one day we can come together.

G-A-Y Porn Idol with Carmen Carrera this Thursday 6 April.

Entry is £1 with a wristband from the G-A-Y Bar.

If you want to strip at G-A-Y Porn Idol send a message to 07789 553 868 or email info@g-a-y.co.uk.

G-A-Y Porn Idol is at Heaven, Under the Arches, off Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NG.

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